NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Waste Management (WM - Get Report) to "buy" from "hold" and set a $55 price target. The firm said the company is cutting its workforce, but can continue to generate steady free cash flow.
The stock was up 0.49% to $46.80 in pre-market trading Wednesday.
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- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $555.00 million or 1.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WASTE MANAGEMENT INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.58%.
- 36.06% is the gross profit margin for WASTE MANAGEMENT INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, WM's net profit margin of 5.89% significantly trails the industry average.
- WASTE MANAGEMENT INC's earnings per share declined by 13.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WASTE MANAGEMENT INC reported lower earnings of $0.21 versus $1.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.36 versus $0.21).
- Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: WM Ratings Report